Over the last few years, trans people have become more visible. With the help of celebrities who are also part of the trans community, this group has been gaining a lot of attention. Unfortunately; however, this attention has not always been positive. Many people do not understand or agree with those who identify as trans, and as a result, there have been a lot of negative comments about those in the community. But despite the negativity, trans people all over the world continue to take pride in who they are, and work to better other people who may be in a similar situation. Here are the 10 most famous transgender people in the world right now.
Brazil native, Lea T. has made headlines everywhere for her work as a model. Despite identifying as trans, Lea still seems to be getting the respect she deserves both on and off the run way. Although she has completed the surgery process, and could easily turn her back on the trans community, she has chosen to use her platform and new-found fame as a way to discuss the issues that are important to her.
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Candis Cayne has been well-known in the NYC club scene for more than two decades. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that she gained mainstream success for her portrayal of Carmelita on the ABC series, Dirty Sexy Money. Although Cayne has stated, “I’m not trying to be a spokeswoman for the transgender community; I just want to be looked at as a living, breathing, happy human being,” she does support the LGBT community.
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Jenna Talackova found herself in the middle of a legal battle after she was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada pageant because she is a transwoman. Talackova won the legal battle, and although she didn’t win the pageant, she has gone on to have her own reality show titled, Brave New Girls.
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Carmen Carrera has her hand in several different pots within the entertainment industry. She is a model, an actress, a show girl, and a TV personality. She has appeared on Ru Paul’s Drag Race as well as the spin-off series, Ru Paul’s Drag U. Initially identifying as a gay man, Carrera has had to face some adversity during her transition. After an episode of TLC’s Cake Boss repeatedly referred to Carrera as a man, she issued this statement: “By calling me a ‘MAN’ promotes ignorance and makes it ok to call transgender women, men. PEOPLE GET BULLIED, BEAT UP, AND KILLED FOR BEING TRANS BECAUSE OF THIS IGNORANCE! … I made it VERY clear to the producers on how to use the correct wording before agreeing to filming this but instead they chose to poke fun and be disrespectful. Thats not what Im [sic] about! … I may not have been born a woman, but im [sic] NOT a man.”
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According to Lepore, “Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn’t understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane.” She began transitioning during her early teenage years, and has since become one of the most popular transwomen in the United States. Lepore has worked as an actress, a singer, and a model – and even after more than 20 years in the game she’s still going strong.
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In 2002, Thomas Beatie made headlines everywhere after being dubbed the “pregnant man.” Beatie, who was born a woman, initially kept his reproductive organs in tact, and decided to become pregnant because his wife could not. Between 2008 and 2010, Beatie carried and gave birth to three of his own biological children. In 2012; however, he had bottom surgery to help further his transition.
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Alexis Arquette is part of the famous Arquette family. Like her siblings, she has also worked in Hollywood, and as an actress she has made dozens of on-screen appearances. Arquette has also played several transgender characters throughout her career. In 2007, her transition was documented in an independent film titled: Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother.
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The only child of the legendary Sonny and Cher, Chaz Bono was born a female. During her childhood, she often appeared on her parents’ TV show, and viewers loved to see the cute little girl interact with her parents. At the age of 18, Bono came out as a lesbian and stated, “as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I’d look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.” However, in 2008, Bono began the process of transitioning from female to male. A documentary which followed his transition aired at the Sun Dance Film Festival in 2011.
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In 2013, Laverne Cox gained mainstream success for her role on the Netflix original series, Orange Is the new Black. Since becoming a star, Cox has been very open about the fact that she is a transwomen, and has also been very vocal in the fight for equal rights and fair treatment to members of the LGBT community. Cox has fought to bring the issues of the trans community to the forefront, and during an interview stated, “The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things.”
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Last month, after lots of speculation, Bruce Jenner sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and revealed that he was in the process of undergoing the transition from male to female. Jenner shared that he has been battling with these feelings for years, and has always felt like a female in his spirit. Although some people in the media have been critical of Jenner’s new journey, he says that the people who matter most, his family, have been very supportive.
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Lead (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Logo TV)